The Great Thyroid Scandal How It Gets Worse!
The Great Thyroid Scandal How It Gets Worse!
Consider, if you will, some of the illnesses consequent upon hypothyroidism. Nothing out of the ordinary really rather common.
1) Aches and pains in muscles and joints. Usually complained of as arthritis or rheumatism. Stiffness, especially in the morning, combined with muscle pain, limiting exercise, is familiar to those of us with almost any degree of hypothyroidism. Basically, two processes at least are at work here. First, waste products of cellular metabolism, muco-polysaccharides accumulate in the muscles and joints. In other tissues, swelling causes the appearance of myxoedema.
Secondly, the reduced cellular uptake of T3, affecting the cell membrane and the mitochondrium, reduces energy production, so that the muscle, short of energy, and with a reduced clearance of waste products, becomes painful. Many of us become aware of this climbing stairs, for example; but it can also produce a similar effect in heart muscle, causing angina. This rheumatism or arthritis is treated by conventional medicine using a large range of drugs, mostly non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) or COX inhibitors.
2) A subtle effect on the working of the liver which always suffers in hypothyroidism causes a rise of cholesterol. If thyroid function is blocked in herbivores or it is simply removed even rabbits and sheep develop raised cholesterol, and all without meat or fat. The effect is so common that in the years after the Second World War, measurement of cholesterol was actually used to diagnose hypothyroidism.
Raised cholesterol causes great alarm and despondency in the medical profession. Careful examination of the evidence does not support the widely proclaimed assertion especially promoted by drug companies that high cholesterol means heart attacks. Recent work suggests that the opposite may be true; yet the belief is now so well grounded that it is heretical to suggest otherwise. Indeed, the acceptable levels seem to lessen year by year. The huge range of Statins attest to this conviction. Thousands and thousands of patients are morally blackmailed into having Statins, even though they make many quite unwell, causing muscle and joint pains, and wait for it reducing TSH response and hence thyroid function.
3) Regarding raised blood pressure, several mechanisms are at work here; increased oxidative stress will lead to atheroma in the arteries and the consequent narrowing which raises blood pressure and encourages cholesterol, if raised, to get into the wrong place. But the fluid retention, so characteristic of low thyroid states, will inevitably raise blood pressure.
How much better, conventional medicine will argue, to use ACE inhibitors, or Calcium Channel blockers, or beta blockers to reduce blood pressure. We are loudly assured that our lives depend on blood pressure reduction, sometimes to absurdly low levels.
The use of diuretics (thiazides and others) to reduce fluid retention (and consequent blood pressure) is, of course, a variation on a theme.
4) Depression. So many of us suffer from, or have suffered from, depression, mood swings, and anxiety. Its almost the scourge of the age. (My own advice is not to read the papers or even listen to the news these days). But, and mark this, more than one third of all folk suffering from depression are hypothyroid. And it gets worse: Many people have confusion and psychosis, even finishing up in psychiatric hospitals on powerful mood controlling drugs. If you even hint that you are depressed, or imply you are fed up with not being listened to, the doctors pen is poised and flies into action to prescribe Prozac, Xeroxed, Cytoplasm, or many other antidepressants. You may be getting fed up with this list, but I will just note a few more. How many folk have to have laxatives for their constipation, the often-outstanding symptom of hypothyroidism? What about the weight control agents (reluctantly) prescribed by many doctors to despairing patients? What about the huge range of painkillers in constant use for headaches? All right, I wont go on, I think the point is made.
Many are the folk who have this range of symptoms sometimes all of them. Even if your doctor puts 2 and 2 together and the light dawns that all these symptoms may be the result of one illness how many times will the results of tests come back normal or borderline? How many times?
So the diagnosis is missed yet again. Bad tests, misinterpreted tests, fear of establishment criticism, mean the suffering goes on. And rather than diagnosing and treating a fell, but easily treatable illness first treated in 1892 doctors have to treat each, and perhaps all of these symptoms separately. Just as an example, the doctor may be obliged to offer Ibuprofen for the arthritis, Simavastin for the high cholesterol. Ramapril for the raised blood pressure. Bendro Fluazide for the fluid retention. Prozac for the depression. Panadol for the headaches. Dulcolax for the constipation. Any idea how much this would cost the NHS over a month? Well, anywhere between 100 and 200 per patient.
How much would Thyroxine cost? Or natural desiccated thyroid for that matter? Maybe 5 (or perhaps 10 or 15 for the natural thyroid) per month. And this treatment would deal with the underlying illness. It would cure, not merely relieve.
This is the terrible scandal, perpetuated daily, by doctors the length and breadth of the country. Sometimes as a result of terrible and inexplicable pressures from establishment medicine. Repeated assertions from drug company literature, or simply bad training. People are condemned to unending ill health, with no prospect of being actually cured.
As H D Thoreau said The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.